I have a Librem 13 v2. I ordered a L5 back when I ordered the 13. (2018) I ordered the Librem 14 as soon as it was announced, only to cancel it later, after feeling like some of the ways I was burned on the L13 would happen again on the L14.
That said, the L14 seemed like a dream Linux portable workstation. So I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to thinking about re-ordering it.
So my question to the community is what are you honest opinions on the Librem 14?
I should caveat this by saying I ordered a Framework laptop and love it. It runs Linux perfectly as well. But I do value what Purism is doing, even if I don’t fully agree with the FOSS stance.
Thank you for your comments and feedback on this!
I have seen many reviews and read articles on opinions of the Librem 14, thus a few goods and bads mentioned as its new tech and arguably, a smaller company. That said, things like keyboard issues, or firmware not complete, or hardware functions not working entirely out of the box were common. But what is important to remember is, that no one is doing what Purism is doing: removing the ME blob and using a cpu that does not include vpro technology. I know this wont help you much, but I consider the Librem still in development and to have bugs and issues. I asked about a Librem 14 v2 but have not heard back yet. I got a Librem 14, it will be a while before it gets here. I will then do a surgical analysis of the hardware and the software and will share my thoughts. I look forward to seeing if I can “break” it.
I use my L14 as a desktop replacement that I can carry with me when I travel and am, in general, very happy with it. For me the glaring issue is the keyboard as I prefer a keyboard with a trackpoint, but I knew this before I bought the L14 (I carry a keyboard with me when I travel).
Next down the list for me is fan noise and the fact that the quality of microphone on my headphones is very poor, but I can live with both of these issues. The fan noise is only rarely bothersome and I have other computers that I can use if I need to do a video chat.
I can honestly say I’m very happy with my L 14 and the only real issue I have is the keyboard right shift key. I don’t have any issues with fan noise and it seems to be charging very consistently now.
My Librem 14 running Qubes is the most trusted machine I have.
The keyboard is okay. Certainly not a ThinkPad chicklet keyboard, nor a ThinkPad classic keyboard. But that said it’s not uncomfortable to type on. The keyboard layout itself bothers some people, especially with the size of the right shift key. It’s not an issue to me though because of my typing method being fairly unorthodox. Needless to say I never have never touch-typed using the right shift key in 10+ years of typing,
The story continues for the trackpad. It’s not glass topped, so it’s not as smooth as a ThinkPad P50’s trackpad or a MacBook’s. But it’s one of those things you get use to. I set the acceleration to 7.5 in the XFCE settings.
In terms of customization resulting from the Open Source EC Controller Firmware, it’s a dream. I modified the keyboard layout in the EC source code to remap Caps Lock to ESC & remap the right shift key to Caps Lock. No messing around with user-level programs to remap keys when it can easily be done in firmware.
Camera quality is fine. Micophone is bearable. I use an external C920 & Blue Yeti Nano regardless when I need a Camera or Microphone.
Fan noise hasn’t been an issue since the fan curve was adjusted. Thermals have never been an issue even under long LibreOffice compile sessions.
I’ve never had an issue with the Wireless Card since I never use it at home. 1. My apartment is small, so range is never an issue. 2. I keep everything wired with Ethernet.
Port selection is brilliant.
Support for 2x32GB DIMMs is fantastic. That’s what’s configured in mine. Kingston HyperX Impact @ some speed is in mine.
Overall I have been very happy with this machine over the last 4/5 months I’ve had it.
I have my Librem 14 since July 2021. I am delighted with it. It’s a very fast machine. However, it’s nearly impossible to use all 12 hardware-threads, except for gaming, multimedia-stuff like image editing, and compiling. Virtualization also works wonderfully.
Generally speaking i am quite happy with my L14. I do have to admit that it has some serious downsides.
- easy to open / upgrade
- killswitches / security
- right shift is ridiculous
- crashes on low battery < 20%
- very high power usage while suspended
- CMOS clear / time reset when out of battery (which happens when away for 1 long weekend on suspend). Unbootable until time is reconfigured.
Thank you! Might I suggest you look up setting up hibernation and use that? It would save you from having the cmos issue
I am on Qubes so that is not possible until they implement hibernate to disk.
Yea I have notices there be a battery issue, charging issue and that concerns me. I can get over the small shift button. I had an Asus that had one and it was annoying as all get out but I can manage. The power issues however I cannot. So I hope my Librem doesn’t have that issue because I will not be buyi.ng battery after battery again and again. I see this as a reason to return the item and really do not want to do that, so crossing fingers I get a nice keyboard, monitor, no speaker mic issues and no issues with charging or storing power. sigh
CMOS being directly powered by the battery does get quite annoying when the battery power runs out or when the battery is disconnected. But it is what it is; I’ll live with it.
Whenever my laptop isn’t in use it’s fully shutdown. So I’m not too concerned about the battery draining from Suspend.